A Pinterest Strategy Without Pinboards

Our school doesn’t use Pinterest. Gasp, shock, awe, right? Why would you not be on Pinterest? I mean, it is now the fourth largest traffic-driving referral site.


The facts are simple. Here are 3 reasons we don’t use Pinterest in our online marketing strategy:

  1. Time. I’ll be honest – I don’t have the time for Pinterest. If you don’t have the time do something well, don’t jump on the bandwagon. If it’s important enough to your mission and goals, you’ll find the time to make it a priority.
  2. Still new. I shy away from shiny new tools. Even though Pinterest has proven itself as a big player in the social media field, there’s still few brands stepping up and proving how it can be used effectively in online marketing.
  3. Self-promotion. If you’re going to be on Pinterest, you need a strategy that lies far outside the realm of self-promotion. You should be pinning content that is useful and relevant to your followers, not talking about yourself. (See “Pin and Be Pinned: Strategies for Pinterest Success” for some good examples of schools sharing valuable content.)

Although I’ve said we don’t use Pinterest as an institution, that does not mean that it is completely absent from our online marketing strategy. In fact, the premise behind Pinterest is front and center in our strategy – visual. The idea that everything online is now more visual than it ever has been is a primary focus for me when I’m posting content online, whether it’s on our website, Facebook page, Twitter, videos or blogs.


When I think of what Pinterest means to our communications, I think of how others are pinning our content. It’s not something that social media professionals think about because we are so caught up in what we are posting that we often forget about how others are sharing our content.


Even if Park Tudor does not have boards on Pinterest, we do have pins. Other people have pinned our content, and I think about how that content appears. Here are some ways we’ve approached this strategy:

  • See Us in ActionMake sure each blog post or news article has an image to go with it.
  • Use a compelling image that can tell its own story.
  • When appropriate, overlay ‘headline’ text on an image.
  • Use infographics to visualize statistics.

If you’re not using Pinterest, you can still adapt a Pinterest strategy for your school by using more visual content. How have you been using visual content online lately?

Cassie Dull

Assistant Director of Communications, Online at Park Tudor School

Cassie is the Assistant Director of Communications, Online at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis. She focuses on social media strategy, online marketing for advancement and admissions, website content, and parent communication.